You medical laser needs periodic measurement to ensure it continues to operate at the desired output settings.
There are two ways to measure the internal laser of your medical device:
Hulk: large, thermal sensor to absorb the full laser power.
Spiderman: small sensor to sample the beam in-process.
As you might expect, each method comes with advantages and disadvantages.
We’ve all been there before.
Struggling to reduce the cost of the BOM, we try to do everything ourselves.
After all, you’re an engineer, aren’t you? You have your own staff of hardware and software engineers, mechanical engineers, physicists, and anyone else you might need.
So, if there’s a complex part that adds a significant cost to your BOM, you’ll try to cut corners. “Let’s see how we can design that ourselves,” you say…
You might not need something for months, but when you need it, you need it yesterday.
So the saying goes for start-ups, but I expect it holds true for all companies.
The problem is, you aren’t just buying off-the-shelf sensors and figuring out where to stick them into your medical device. You need a custom solution.
Custom solutions take time to design, by definition.
With high power lasers, there’s always a safety concern for equipment and people nearby.
(Of course, I’m not qualified to give a detailed analysis of what needs to be taken into account for laser safety. For that, you should consult a laser safety officer.)
I want to specifically ask whether there’s an issue of laser light reflecting off power measuring equipment.
In applications where a human observer is involved (for example illumination applications), it is often important to measure using the eye-response-matched Photometric system of units. Ophir’s PD300-CIE is a photometric sensor, and is designed to measure illuminance (in units of Lux or Foot-Candles).
A clear benefit of knowing the M2 of your laser is getting a lot of information about beam quality all in one number.
As simple as the output is, it is harder than you may imagine to measure and calculate M-Squared.
Let’s take a quick look at the theory behind M2 to see how it can be measured.